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Then & Now

Then and Now

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This page could not exist without contributors who had the sense to capture the past, so a big thank you to all of them.

I'm sure there used to be pub here??? 

The Legs of Man in its last form, there having been a previous styled pub on this site at the corner of London Road and Lime Street. It was demolished to allow the expansion of the Empire Theatre, Coal Street was abolished and built across in the process. An old haunt of mine when I captured it here. 

Commutation Row as captured by NancyO during the 1980s. The black building was once a bank but saw out its life as Maurice Abelson's jewellers. The furthest seen property was a purpose built Montague Burtons building, four pubs stood on this block at one time. Now, Commutation Plaza apartments stand here, built in a supposedly sympathetic style, material and colour to its illustrious neighbours in William Brown Street.

Local photographer Joe Devine caught this 1980s view of Islington and in doing so captured a sight so familiar to those of us who lived in the nearby Gerard Gardens tenement development. Transport House boxing club, Barney's sweet shop run by Joan and Peter and Peppers public house, renamed from the County Hotel as it was known to one and all as peppers anyway. The now shot shows the continuation of Commutation Plaza into Islington.

The St. Pauls pub in the square of the same name as captured by me in 1988. This area was once a Welsh stronghold, the building seen here having a Georgian look about it. Sat in the shadow of the 1960s John Moores Littlewoods building, the area is slowly giving way to modern developments such as the two seen on the right, even the glass building now becoming the Plaza.

This scene probably more than most epitomises how what was so grand was replaced with what is so bland. The old view taken in 1961 by Joe Neary is fantastic and how Joe must never have thought at the time that a scene so atmospheric and vibrant as that could ever be just a memory so few years later. Gerard Fleming has done a brilliant job recreating a now shot nearly half a century later, the blues and greens doing their best to replicate the neon burst seen earlier. See more of Gerard's photographs here and see a brilliant attempt at capturing every Liverpool street on photograph and be sure to submit your own. here

The Sportsman (later, Dickie Lewis's when pictured here) was on Westminster Road at the junction with Leighton Street. As can be seen, two pairs of 3 storey houses now sit on its site.

Andy Caps on the junction of Netherfield Road North and Robsart Street was better known as The Old Stingo, a name it carried for many decades. It was demolished in 2006 for the building of a pair of elegant 4 storey houses, styled in keeping with the Georgian terraces further along to the South end of the street. Notice the roof terraces facing the river to the west. 

Secrets aka clouds and Allinsons as captured in the 1980s by Philip Mayer. Demolished in 2003, a grand block of apartments now take up the same footprint on this corner of Church Road and Hawthorne Road in Litherland.

For better, or is it worse? 

Three views around Cases Street by Joe Devine now follow. Taken from Ranelagh Street, the Midland pub, the globe, the Sefton, Cases bar and Egerton's once lined the East side of the street. About a third of the way up the street was blocked off to create an entrance into the new Clayton Square shopping development as seen here in July 2008. 

The original and aesthetically better looking Clayton Square in which the News theatre (later the Jacey cinema and then the Holy Shrine-Blessed Sacrament chapel) stood proudest. Some of the shops present in that era were Skin, Timpson, Cascade, Spectrum, Millets, Famous Army Stores and Currys. The once familiar 4 telephone boxes and taxi rank are also in evidence. In decades gone by, this was a site for the Christmas Tree and Salvation Army brass band.

Looking down Elliot Street from Great Charlotte Street. Beyond the Nat West bank and Cut price records is City models with its colourful special offer posters in the windows. The Villiers pub stood next door and then Timpsons further on. A rather more bland scene confronts the viewer these days and did that Street ever seem to slope enough to give rise to that staircase that now exists there? 

Some definite improvements

Hood Street with one of the elevated walkways that were positioned over this and Roe Street. The bubble bus stops, officially called 'The Gyratory' and claimed to be the longest in Europe are no more and the railway goods yard is now enjoying a new lease of life as one of the National Museums Liverpool galleries and renamed the Conservation centre. The older picture is with thanks to Nigel Hall. 

Seymour Street captured in its delapidated state in the 1980s by nancyO. The same block is viewed in July 2008 having undergone an almost miraculous renovation and brought back to its former glory with the addition of wrought iron balconies. 

When Joe Devine snapped these decrepid bombdies on Norton Street in the early 1980s, they were seeing out their last few years. The Midland Bank is now part of the ever growing John Moores University stock and a coach station now stands on the site facing. 

Both of these pics were taken and supplied by Philip G Mayer and show the corner of London Road and Anson Street over a decade apart. 

 And others where the jury is out - you decide.

Williamson Square in the mid 1980s. Maybe the least changed of the bunch though the benches have been reduced in number and a modernistic water fountain has been introduced. The purple glazed brick staircases serving the elevated walkways have been demolished as has Stoniers building to accomodate plans by Mark & Spencer to expand to the rear

Vauxhall Road looking South (by Joe Devine). George Lyons & Sons Ltd scrap merchants is overshadowed by Fairries sugar refiners which was part of Tate & Lyle. Although this building dating from 1847 was grade II listed, it didn't prevent its demolition in 1983. The July 2008 view sees the Castle Pub on the left as the only remaining building in shot from that earlier photograph. It's now minus its swinging sign but its bus shelter neighbour has been updated though the 21E to Walton no longer serves the route. 

Cleveland Square taken by Philip Mayer. The seamans mission, that is spelt seaman, also known as the pox clinic stood next to the Cleveland pub. Chancery House in its striking pink sandstone colour stands in the middle and a pre-dish adorned St. John's beacon. Q Park car parking facility for the new L1 Grosvenor development now takes up a chunk of the now pic. Nice to see the warehouse has been saved too.

Moorfields as was with thanks to K.G. Rose. The Wizards Den is now in Longmoor Lane and the mini clubman in heaven's garage. The fine Georgian property with its grand portico and the Mellors pub have been replaced with the new courts as the Exchange Station facade has been restored and integrated into the new Mercury Court building. 

Great Homer Street. Once lined with shops and pubs, this scene shows the tower blocks from the 1950s and 60s. It is famous locally for its Saturday market which is taking place on Joe Devine's 1980s photo. St. Martins indoor market can be seen as can the maisonettes in Lower Arkwright Street and the corner of the Lamplighter pub. On the newer scene, the pub has become a cafe which is 'to let' and the new NSPCC building, opened in 2008 by Esther Rantzen has replaced the indoor market which in turn means the outdoor market is now situated a little further up. The tower blocks were taken over by the Housing Action Trust (HAT) with many being demolished.

A view of the Kingsway Tunnel approach road showing the Liverpool bound 32 bus. St. Georges Heights are the white 22 storey tower block on the left, Lawrence Gardens tenements are next then Everton Terrace on Netherfield Road. The Rydal youth club on Great Homer Street can be seen in front of the Terrace. There's a bit less going on in the now scene. Bestway wholesale supplies have moved into the Whitbreads building which replaced Lawrence Gardens on what is now commonly known as 'the loop', though I did accidentally catch a bus in almost the same position as the old photograph.

St. Anne Street was once lined with Merchant Houses of a grand style until the encroachment of inner city courts saw the rich flee to the outskirts. The block undergoing renovation in 1990 contains a house in which Queen Victoria and her Consort, Prince Albert once stayed and to this day, plaster casts of their heads sit proudly above the portico doorway. Judges lodgings including a bowling green to the rear were also a part of this once oplulent thoroughfare until they were too moved out - this time to Newsham Park. The grand Owen Owen warehouse building was demolished after a fire leaving the gaping space shown, next door, The Wellington public house is in its last throes as is the corner building, last used as a lodging house. In the now shot, E.A. Clare Billiards supplies and Letheren's wood mill are still in existence and the white property is now fully renovated. The new Liverpool City fire station stands on the corner of Springfield and a new cut through has been formed in the pavement, allowing the fire engines easier access to the north of this pic.

Manchester Street 1990. From bottom to top. The Games shop, the batch hatch, Shanks club (formerly The Tiger), Ace Security Services, Gilroy & Co buildings which Callan military were then occupying, Amusement arcade, Yates Wine lodge, the old furniture shop and top out of the picture was the Gilmore adult cinema which exploded into flames one night. Only the games shop building and the batch hatch, now under new ownership and renamed 'My mam's kitchen' remain with the top half of the street now dominated by a travelodge.

Another of Joe's. The Whitechapel post office seems to have come and gone in such a short space of time. The old GPO truck yard used to occupy this space before the post office but now an extension to the Victoria Street GPO to the rear, combined with a gutting and clever change of usage of the main building has created the 'Met Quarter' shopping mall where, amongst others, Liverpool's rich and famous shop. Needless to say, the 17c to Fazakerley no longer comes this way.

The ugly 1970s walkways have gone and the underpass service entrance to St. Johns precinct disguised as a futuristic looking information centre takes pride of place as the North side of Williamson Square sees long overdue replacements for where the Theatre Royal once stood. 

1960s London Road/Lime Street junction showing the art deco Burtons Buildings and a sliver of the Legs of Man public house as taken by J.G. Parkinson. They have been replaced with Commutation Plaza and the Empire extension respectively.

Mill Street, Dingle. From Wellington Road, showing the Wellie pub, the flats beyond and St. Cleopas Church spire. Pic with thanks to Rob at MMT. The now shot is a little less inspiring. The Florence Institute is facing this row, providing the only character on this stretch of road these days.

Brunswick Road in 1971 was lined with shops and office premises above when A.F. Gahan captured it here. Now is is tree lined with lots of greenery, something only previously reserved for prestigious avenues. 

Looking up from Gt. Georges Place past the Lord Nelson Tetley's house in 1970. Some of the old property that fronted the Anglican Cathedral on Gt. George Street is undergoing demolition. Pic by Frank Lenhan and courtesy of Colin Wilkinson. New three high housing now stands in this area, screened in the now pic by the trees. 

Parker Street in 1970 as captured by Mike Mercer and just as I remember it as a pre-teen, thronged with bustling shoppers and bus stop queues. The green corpies have been replaced by blue Superlambanas as the big screen marks the opening weekend of the premier league 2008/09 season. The now scene is a rare case of a road being narrowed, and how gloomy it looks to the then photo. 

The premises of Carmichael's at 81 Regent Road ablaze as captured by Andy Daley. Property either side of the adjacent side street are still in situ though the fine block lost to the fire is still half wasteland and half new warehousing. Rewinds & J. Windsor have been afforded new windows too in the course of time. 

A Frank Lenhan 1965 scene looking out over the head of Arthur Bower Forwood from St. Georges Hall. Pre Churchill Way flyover, Dale Street car park is busy facing the Mitre pub and Manchester Street is still a thoroughfare. An old Commer parks and gardens wagon is in St. John's Gardens. The January 2009 scene sees Beetham Tower and the flyover in situ, the Threlfalls chimney in Trueman Street has been demolished.

Even as a ruin, the Anfield Weslyan Methodist church on Oakfield Road captured in 1975 by Frank Lenhan is better than the offering on show over 3 decades later. The houses on Walton Breck Road to the left haven't changed much, it's a pity about the rest of the view. 

Primrose Hill looking west in 1976 and 2009. Whitbreads brewery was at the top of Trueman Street, the smells of the malt and the hops were always in the air as the big brown tanker wagons rolled in and out of those gates under the sign. A wagon with barrels on is parked where the now view has the metal rails. 

Another Frank Lenhan photograph, this time capturing Great Mersey Street in 1976. It's a pity that only half of this fine Georgian terrace remains, the now photograph showing a fine example though of modern living. The Rotunda College now takes up the section of terracing with the white roofline facia board but this was once the presbytery of Fr Lawn from St. Alphonsus Church. For more information on this, here is an excerpt from the Scottie press website. ''Archive information for the parish of St Alphonsus comes from a booklet printed in 1978 to mark the 100th anniversary of the parish, which was formed in 1878 by Fr Edward Birchall who became the first parish priest. His first task was to procure premises that could be used as a church. He purchased a disused Masonic Hall in Kirkdale Road and on 1st February, 1878 Mass was celebrated there for the first time. He made his presbytery at 27 Great Mersey Street and later moved across to 52 Great Mersey Street. He had as assistant curates Fr Thomas Grimes and Fr Thomas Smith. The parish boundaries extended from Netherfield Road to Commercial Road and from Athol Street to Lambeth Road. In 1887 Fr Birchall purchased land for a church, school and presbytery. The need for a school was urgent and preparations were soon in hand for a suitable building to be erected. Fr Birchall was not to see his labours rewarded for he died in 1888 and Fr Pinnington became parish priest on 2nd June of that year. On 19th August 1888 Bishop O'Reilly laid the foundation stone, and on 12th August 1889 the school was officially opened. Within a few years it became evident that the new school was grossly overcrowded with 1,200 children occupying the premises, so Fr Pinnington decided that he solution was to erect a separate infants' school. The foundation stone for this school was laid in 1893.At this time parish statistics show the population of the parish was 5,498 consisting of 1308 families, the numbers of people in Arlington Street alone amounted to 1,000 which conveys some idea of the grossly over-crowded conditions that people were forced to tolerate. By 1906 the parish population was 6,138 and the church was deemed to be inadequate for the needs of the people. Fr Pinnington who was appointed as Canon of the diocese in 1910 was able to procure a site for a new church in Great Mersey Street, which was opened on 8th December 1911 by Bishop Whiteside. A new chapel and baptistry was added in 1917. This new chapel within a very short time became a memorial chapel commemorating those many hundreds of men killed in the First World War, commemorative plaques with their names adorning the walls. St Alphonsus parish celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1928 and a magnificent organ was purchased for the church. Canon Pinnington died in 1932 having served the parish with love and loyalty for 44 years''. 

Erskine Street in 1976 as seen across waste ground towards Chapel Street. SFX School roof is the only landmark to pinpoint this as being a then and now scene. A pub stands at the bottom of Brunswick Road which is now taken up by Staples office supplies. Small industrial units make up Erskine street trading estate as large residential properties bit the dust in the name of progress as once again, roads were widened to accommodate the ever increasing traffic into the city centre.

Whitbreads brewery commands the 1976 skyline as seen from across Byrom Street. The steam seen billowing from the roof, and usually, the Threlfalls chimney smelt of the brewing hops. More than 30 years later and gone are the chimneys, in fact they went in the 80s. The Henry Cotton building and library belonging to the John Moores university now stands on Primrose Hill and the area where the barrel stores was situated in now landscaped. The elevated walkway, constructed along with the flyovers around 1970 still serves those who bother to use it. 

Two photographs with thanks to Johhny Blue showing the corner of Canning Place with Wapping in the 1970s. Voss Motors undergoes demolition, moving to the Mercedes Benz dealership at Mann Island in the process. The second photograph around 1980 shows the newly completed though as yet unoccupied Police HQ. 

Millers Bridge, Bootle showing its fine terracing, children's playgrund and pool in 1936. The old Toll Bar pub is on the corner of Derby Road. In stark contrast, today's view is very mediocre. Progress indeed. 

Whitechapel as captured in the 1980s by Philip Mayer. Nothing here survives as we see from the now photo. 

Hunter Street in its original guise pictured by Joe Devine in 1986 shortly before Gerard Close and Gerard Crescent were demolished. You'll see that the street was widened from 2 to the 4 lanes (that are visible) but a further 3 lanes heading East are to the left at a lower level. Progress for getting to Islington from Scotland Road and visa versa by car maybe, but hardly pleasing to the eye. 

Greetham Street off Park Lane in 1986 showing Kent Gardens empty of residents though not demolished until later in the decade. Essex House still survives in January 2010 but little else. 

Williamson Square by Ed Fenton in 1969 as a crane finishes off parts of St. Johns Precinct and the Union cold stores (ex Theatre Royal) sees out its last few years. Fast forward to January 2010 and although the playhouse theatre is still in situ with a different coat of paint, there are changes out of shot to the left of the picture as new retail stores take up the space once occupied by the cold stores. 

Houghton Street 1963 and 2010. Which scene looks the most colourful and vibrant?
There's a hotch potch of different shaped properties that were demolished in the mid 1960s to accommodate the West Side of the much maligned St. Johns precinct. The pic on the left is courtesy of Colin Wilkinson of the Bluecoat Press.  

More Then and Now shots in the future !